• Val T.

Pioneer holds off North White rally, wins 3rd straight sectional

Pioneer vs. Kouts, 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Caston


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Girls basketball

Pioneer 72, North White 53 (Saturday): Hailey Cripe scored eight of her game-high 24

Hailey Cripe

points in the fourth quarter, and Madison Blickenstaff added 17, and Olivia Brooke added 16 for Pioneer in a win over North White in the Class 1A, Sectional 52 final at Tri-County Saturday.

Pioneer won their fifth sectional title in school history and won their third straight sectional for the first time in school history.

Pioneer improved to 21-4 and has won nine straight games. They avenged a 42-36 loss to North White on Dec. 10.

No. 7 Pioneer will play Kouts, the Sectional 49 champion, at approximately 12:30 p.m. this Saturday at Caston in a regional semifinal. No. 13 Fort Wayne Blackhawk and Triton will meet in the first regional semifinal at 10:30 a.m., and the winners return at 7:30 p.m. for the regional final.

Lynzi Heimlich scored 23 points, and Olivia Allen added 15 for North White. Heimlich outscored the entire Pioneer team 10-7 in the third quarter and helped cut what had been a 31-11 deficit after one quarter down to 54-44 after three quarters.

Pioneer went 22 for 27 from the foul line. North White went 14 for 19.

Pioneer led 47-30 at halftime.

North White (17-5) allowed 38 points per game on the season. Only one of their previous 21 opponents scored more than 70 points against them.

PIONEER (72) (21-4)

Mackenzie Walker 1 3-5 5, Hailey Cripe 7 8-10 24, Brooklyn Borges 1 2-2 4, Olivia Brooke 7 2-2 16, Madison Blickenstaff 5 7-8 17, Maggie Steffel 0 0-0 0, Crystabelle Blickenstaff 0 0-0 0, Kylie Attinger 0 0-0 0, Katelyn Duncan 0 0-0 0, Bryleigh Binney 0 0-0 0, Ashlynn Brooke 2 0-0 6, Adeline Cripe 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 23 22-27 72

NORTH WHITE (53) (17-5)

Cosgrave 0 2-2 2, Allen 6 2-4 15, Spry 1 0-0 3, Heimlich 8 7-9 23, Westerhouse 0 3-4 3, Stevens 0 0-0 0, Hunt 0 0-0 0, Williams 0 0-0 0, Annis 0 0-0 0, Carter 0 0-0 0, Conn 1 1-1 3, Robertson 2 0-0 4

TEAM: 18 15-20 53

Three-point field goals:

Pioneer 4 (A. Brooke 2, H. Cripe 2),

North White 2 (Allen, Spry)

Total fouls: Pioneer 20, North White 20

Fouled out: M. Blickenstaff (PIO), Cosgrave (NW)

Turnovers: Pioneer 14, North White 17

Score by quarters

Pioneer 31 16 7 18 – 72

North White 11 19 14 9 – 53

Pioneer 58, Frontier 22 (Friday): Hailey Cripe hit seven 3-pointers and scored a game-high 32 points, and Madison Blickenstaff tallied 12 for the No. 7 Lady Panthers in a win over Frontier in a Class 1A, Sectional 52 semifinal at Tri-County Friday.

Cripe hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 points in the third quarter alone. She did not play in the fourth quarter.

Olivia Brooke added seven points and Crystabelle Blickenstaff had five, all in the fourth quarter.

Pioneer led 17-1 after one quarter and increased the lead to 26-3 at halftime.

Emma Blissett led Frontier (6-15) with 13 points. Frontier has not won a sectional game since 2016 and has not won a sectional title since 2014.

Pioneer also beat Frontier 69-27 on Jan. 7 in their regular season meeting.

North White topped South Newton 53-17 in the second semifinal.

FRONTIER (22) (6-15)

Sorensen 0 0-0 0, Gutwein 1 1-2 3, LaOrange 0 0-0 0, Clothier 1 0-0 3, E. Blissett 5 0-0 13, op den Kelder 0 0-0 0, Newcom 0 0-0 0, Mears 1 0-0 3, Anderson 0 0-0 0, N. Blissett 0 0-0 0, Fields 0 0-0 0, Christopher 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 8 1-2 22

PIONEER (58) (20-4)

Mackenzie Walker 0 0-0 0, Hailey Cripe 12 1-2 32, Brooklyn Borges 0 2-4 2, Olivia Brooke 3 1-2 7, Madison Blickenstaff 4 4-7 12, Maggie Steffel 0 0-0 0, Crystabelle Blickenstaff 2 1-2 5, Kylie Attinger 0 0-0 0, Katelyn Duncan 0 0-0 0, Bryleigh Binney 0 0-0 0, Adeline Cripe 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 21 9-17 58

Three-point field goals:

Frontier 5 (E. Blissett 3, Mears, Clothier),

Pioneer 7 (H. Cripe 7)

Total fouls: Frontier 16, Pioneer 6

Turnovers: Frontier 19, Pioneer 15

Score by quarters

Frontier 1 2 8 11 – 22

Pioneer 17 9 23 9 – 58


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